Ricci v. DeStefano Decided

June 29, 2009

Whether a public employer may lawfully refuse to certify the results of a promotional exam when it has a strong basis in evidence to believe that the test violates Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act because of its discriminatory impact on minorities or women. DECIDED

Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act prohibits employment practices, including promotional exams, that have a discriminatory impact on minorities or women. In this case, the City of New Haven was sued by a group of white firefighters after the City refused to certify the results of a promotional exam. In its amicus brief, the ACLU argues that an employer is not required to certify a test that has a discriminatory impact on minorities if the employer has a strong basis in evidence to believe that certifying the results would violate Title VII. The brief further argues that plaintiffs' contrary position represents a covert attack on the constitutionality of Title VII itself, which should be rejected if the Court decides to address it.

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